12/10/2021

Participate in Commission Public Consultation to keep (new) GMOs regulated and to protect organic

As covered in the last edition of the newsletter, the Commission is considering a new legal proposal for so-called “New Genomic Techniques” or new genetic engineering techniques. IFOAM Organics Europe has previously expressed concerns that weakening the rules on using genetic engineering in agriculture and food is worrying news and could leave organic food systems unprotected.  

Commission consults Europeans on new GMOs: Make your voice heard
The Commission has now launched a public consultation on the Inception Impact Assessment for “new genomic techniques’, which is open until 22 October. This consultation is open for all citizens and organisations and aims to identify crucial issues to be considered before a new legal proposal is made.

To enable citizens to easily participate in the public consultation, a tool has been developed to allow respondents to send a message directly to the European Commission in favour of organic and against deregulation. Click here to participate in English.

Do you wish to reply to the consultation in a different language?
Click here for the Dutch version (Nederlands/Vlaams)
Click here for the German version (Deutsch)
Click here for the French version (Français)

The organic movement’s main messages on new GMOs

  • The current GMO regulations must apply to all GMOs, whether engineered with older GM technology or “new genomic techniques”. Taking out these GMOs of the current regulations would threaten our biodiversity, environment and organic food systems. It is crucial that risk assessment, traceability and labelling is applied to all GMOs;
  • All GM crops must be tested for potential negative impacts on health and the environment. The precautionary principle brought forward by the EU Court of Justice should prevail in any case;
  • Farmers, processors, retailers as well as consumers must be able to choose what is on their fields, in their products and on their plates. Guaranteeing freedom of choice, traceability and labelling are essential;
  • If GMOs are no longer subject to traceability and labelling requirements, the organic and other GMO-free supply chains will be at risk. We need to know where and when GMOs are used in the production process to make sure there is no contamination in our harvests and products. This is also why any move to deregulate GMOs is a direct threat to the EU’s target of increasing EU farmland that is managed organically towards 25%;
  • Solutions exist to tackle the challenges linked to climate change and to reduce synthetic pesticide use in farming. With organic farming and agroecology, we already have options. The Commission should focus on these already proven solutions and support them further.

What comes next?

This is  a public consultation on the Inception Impact Assessment for “new genomic techniques’. The outcomes of this consultation will feed into the upcoming Impact Assessment, which is why it is so crucial to raise the perspective of the organic movement, so that the process can start off on the right foot.

There will be another public consultation ahead of the Impact Assessment during spring 2022. After this, another public consultation is planned for the second quarter of 2022.

As you can imagine, this is a long process, and IFOAM Organics Europe keep you posted about each step along they way, representing the European organic movement’s voice.

For more information on GMOs and IFOAM Organics Europe’s work on this issue, please contact martin.sommer@organicseurope.bio.  Please do note that we prioritise our members’ requests.

IFOAM Organics Europe members can find more information on the member extranet and background materials in the arguments database on the member extranet (main messages, arguments/FAQs, visuals & videos). For information about what you can gain from being a member, read our membership page and contact membership@organicseurope.bio

 
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